By Jordan Fabian - 02/09/16 03:16 PM EST
The White House on Tuesday issued a challenge to Republicans in Congress: We’ve produced our budget, now where is yours?
GOP leaders roundly rejected President Obama’s $4.1 trillion budget request, arguing it’s full of liberal policies that will grow the size of government.
“The question here isn’t a fight between the administration and Republicans, it’s a fight within the Republican Party,” Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun DonovanShaun DonovanOvernight Energy: Coal industry group backs Trump Senators urge White House to speed cyber policy updates Overnight Healthcare: White House dips into Ebola funding for Zika MORE told reporters on Tuesday.
The White House budget chief noted that the president’s request abides by last year’s bipartisan spending agreement, something which required making “some tough choices.”
“We’ve done our part with this budget, it’s going to be up to them to see whether they could live up to their promises to get back to regular order,” Donovan said.
Some conservatives in Congress are pushing back against the spending levels set in a deal last fall between Obama and former Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (R-Ohio).
The agreement set discretionary spending levels at $1.1 trillion for the next two years. But some GOP lawmakers want to cut spending back down to original sequester levels, while others want a boost in defense spending while cutting funding for domestic programs.
If enough members decide to oppose the 2017 budget, that could prevent Ryan from achieving his goal of passing a budget and all 12 appropriations bills in the House, something that has not occurred in decades.
Republicans spent all day Tuesday deriding Obama’s budget as a political document rather than a serious attempt at legislation.
“This isn’t even a budget so much as it is a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans,” Ryan said in a statement.
Leaders of the House and Senate budget panels have already said they will not even give Donovan a hearing.
While the two sides engaged in a war of words over the budget, White House aides stressed there were proposals in the document Republicans could support, such as money to fund cancer research, fight heroin addiction and expand tax credits meant to fight poverty.